Join us on the Tour de Heifer!
SAVE THE DATE! Sunday, June 9, 2019 — 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Vermont’s most challenging dirt road rides! The eighth annual Tour de Heifer happens on Sunday, June 9, 2019!
The Tour de Heifer’s 60 and 30 mile challenge routes follow dirt roads with minimal pavement. Both entail significant elevation change — that is, hill-climbing, and lots of it! Both the 30 and 60 mile challenges are loop rides with opportunities for bailing out.
Updated 60-mile route:
The new route is 61 miles, with 7119 feet of climbing. This is about 200 more feet than previous years. The ride is entirely in Vermont this year.
The first half of the route is almost entirely different from previous years. There’s a pretty big climb starting at about mile 7, local advice is to just keep it slow and steady. There are two new class 4 roads in the first half. One is in good shape, relatively level and downhill, the second class 4 is a short steep bumpy downhill section. You’ll need to be careful with a cross or road bike, but it’s rideable. The half way point is still at Green River Bridge. The second half has some variations to mix it up a little with a new and more scenic water stop at about mile 45.
Our team wanted to show you some roads that Brattleboro locals may be familiar with, but which are not on any organized rides that we are aware of. We hope you enjoy the new route. It still has lots of gravel, lots of hills, and lots of fun!
We also offer a less challenging (but still hilly!) 15-mile country ride with paved hills and a scenic riverside dirt road section. This is an out-and-back ride to the Green River Bridge.
Families and people who love to walk will enjoy our guided 3-mile hike to the top of nearby Round Mountain. Beginning at 10:30 at Robb Family Farm, and back down in time for lunch – click here for trail map. Jeff Nugent will be leading this year’s hike up Round Mountain. He works as a mapping/GIS specialist at the Windham Regional Planning Commission and has been exploring Windham County for over two decades.
All of the routes begin and end at Robb Family Farm in West Brattleboro, and feature incredible views, farm and woodland terrain, New England villages (one with a covered bridge), and much more.
What’s for lunch? Tour de Heifer Quiches and Frittatas and Field Greens Salad with Seasonal Vegetables by A Vermont Table Catering, plentiful sides and beverages and freshly baked cookies for dessert! AND MUCH MORE! And, Brattleboro’s Whetstone Brewery will be on hand to offer samples as well as drafts for sale! So be sure to tuck a little cash into your pocket!
Don’t have a bike? That’s no excuse! West Hill Shop in Putney, VT will rent you an excellent gravel bike for $10. You may pick up the bike before June 9th. For gravel bike rental information call the West Hill Shop at (802) 387-5718
Got questions? Scroll down or click here for our FAQ!
Registration includes a farm-fresh lunch and entertainment back at Robb Family Farm.
MANY THANKS TO OUR TOUR DE HEIFER SPONSORS:
Lunch and Beer:
Water bottles for participants from:
Bike Shop sponsors:
- Burrows Specialized Sports, Main Street, Brattleboro: http://www.burrowssports.com/
- West Hill Shop, Putney VT: http://www.westhillshop.com/
- Bicycles Unlimited, Greenfield MA: http://www.bikes-unlimited.com/
Against the Grain, Cabot Creamery, Clif Bar, Commonwealth Dairy, Drew’s All Natural, Dunkin’ Donuts, Grafton Village Cheese, Leader Distribution, Mocha Joe’s, Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs, Teddie Peanut Butter, Sidehill Farm, Vermont Country Deli, Vermont Creamery
SPECIAL THANKS: Vermont Land Trust and of course…our host, Robb Family Farm, and all the farms along the Tour de Heifer: Winchester Farm, Robb Family Farm, Franklin Family Farm, Deer Ridge Farm, Sunrise Farm, Circle Mountain Farm, Full Steam Farm, Olson Farm, Gateway Farm, Shearer Hill Farm, Bree-Z Knoll Farm, Cortland Hill Orchards and the Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center.
Tour de Heifer FAQ
What type of bike should I ride?
This depends on the ride you select and the options you have available to you.
15 mile ride: Any bike will do: cross, road, hybrid, unicycle, recumbent, tagalongs, etc. Having gears is good for the hilly sections, which are all paved. The dirt/gravel sections are relatively flat. The 15 mile ride is about half paved and half dirt.
Green River Challenge and Heifer Challenge (30 and 60): We recommend a cross bike or a road bike with slightly wider tires. A mountain bike is fine as well, particularly for the shorter distances, but, as you know, will be slower up the hills and on flatter sections. We regularly ride these gravel roads with cross, road and mountain bikes. The ideal is probably the cross. A number of people ride these gravel routes on a road bike with 25 mm tires, while some of us feel more comfortable with 28 mm or even 32 mm. Cyclists have a wide range of comfort with riding a road bike on dirt/gravel roads. Some folks aren’t keen on the way their bikes handle on the dirt, others are nervous about exposing their (sometimes expensive) machines to the dirt and dust. We think that many miss out because of these concerns. All rides are along lovely roads with little traffic. One of the joys of the Tour de Heifer is having people discover that they can get off the pavement with their road bike. Of course, mountain bikers and cross riders are already familiar with the joys of dirt.
All that being said, our motto is “Ride the bike you have!”
What kind of support is available?
We will have snack/water stops along the different routes. All of the rides go through Green River village in Guilford, near the covered bridge. There will be a larger snack/water stop there, along with a PortaPotty.
You should begin the ride well stocked with water and snacks, particularly for the longer rides. Don’t expect to find any stores along the routes to fuel up. There are none, as you are in the heart of rural Vermont.
There will be friendly bike mechanics available at the registration area, and we have found that if you have a problem or worry, checking in with our volunteer mechanics there often prevents further problems down the road.
There will be a mechanic at the base, and a couple of sag wagons in signed vehicles that will be going along the routes. There will also be an emergency number given out at registration if you need to call for assistance. Count on texting only, as cell signals are sporadic in these areas. While we will provide support, riders should be prepared as well, with food, water and tools of their own. We have many miles of routes to cover and help may not be immediately available.
When and where is lunch?
Lunch is back at the Farm for all riders, as well as the hikers. The lunch buffet is usually open from 11:30 to 2:00, but food will be available in coolers after that time.
Please note, particularly 60 mile riders, that we will have a substantial snack/water stop around the halfway point, to provide you with fuel to finish the last halves of your rides. Our experience is that most 60 mile riders prefer to stock up on snacks and fluids, rather than eat a full lunch out there. There will also be food at the farm for all 60 milers, even after the lunch buffet has officially closed down. Though we start wrapping things up at the farm around 3:30, we will stay set up for all 60-mile riders who come in after that time. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We know it is a long ride.
Are there places to bail out early if I get tired?
Yes, there are a number of places along the 30 and 60 rides where you can bail out. You can also combine the first half of the 60 with the last half of the 30, by taking a right on Deer Park Road rather than a left (unless Green River Bridge is open). Just ask if you have questions about this option.
If you have questions about bail out points just ask our Tour Coordinator in advance, at registration, or at one of the water stops if you are unfamiliar with the options. Please note that our sag wagons will be covering only the official routes.
If I signed up for the 60, can I drop back to the 30 (or vice-versa)?
If you registered for the 30, you can change your mind and do the 60, or if you registered for the 60, you can do the 30. They are the same price. If possible, let us know at registration, but you can change your mind on the fly, or use the map to make up your own intermediate ride using one or more of the shortcuts between routes.
When does my ride start and can I start at a different time?
All of the ride times are suggested and you may start when you wish. However, please consider that our registration, snack/water stops and sag wagon support are based upon the suggested times. We encourage more leisurely 60 mile riders to start on the earlier side, closer to 7:00 AM, while stronger riders might wait until 8:00 AM. Our rest stops might not be ready for strong riders who start before the suggested start times. You are welcome to choose your time, just prepare accordingly.
What does the Tour de Heifer Support?
The Tour is a fund-raiser for Strolling of the Heifers — The Tour helps support the Stroll’s Farm to Table Apprenticeship Program, which teaches nutrition and culinary skills to underemployed community members, placing them in full-time, permanent positions at local restaurants and institutional kitchens.
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